Once upon a time there was an energetic prince – the history of the Hofgut
The changeful history of the Hofgut Georgenthal estate starts with Georg August Samuel von Nassau-Idstein. At the age of twelve after his father’s death the energetic prince
(1665 to 1721) began his studies in Giessen, Strasbourg and Paris. During his studies,
he also got to know various courts being particularly impressed by the Palace of Versailles.
Origin of the Zehnthof
In 1692, under the direction of his master builder Friedrich Wilhelm Löner, he decided to build a large Hofgut as a tithe farm for the glory of his noble ducal dynasty. In order to start his new foundation successfully, the surrounding communities had to cede numerous plots of land to the Prince’s estate, originally called Georgenthaler Hof. Therefore, all the parties involved signed a contract confirming the new common land. Thus, more than 250 acres of meadows, forests and fields belonged to the estate of the Hofgut at that time.
The building of further Hofguts and Biebrich Palace after 1648
The region experienced an enormous boom under Georg August in the economically difficult times after the 30-year war and the plague. Besides the Georgenthaler Hof the prince of Nassau-Idstein built or founded five other manorial courts or dairies:
- Gassenbach Court
- Idstein stockyard
- Ranstatt Court
- Henrietten Court
- Nainhaus Court
The foundation of the village of Georgenborn with a princely castle also dates back to the same time. The Georgenthaler Hof was particularly distinguished by its name (the prince’s first name), just like the Henriettenhof which bears the name of the princess.
Biebrich Palace in Wiesbaden, one of the most important baroque palaces along the Rhine, was also built under his direction starting in 1696. He was unable to complete
his “Versailles on the Rhine” by himself due to his death in 1721. The Pheasantry in Wiesbaden, which, commissioned by Georg August, was initially located at Biebrich
Palace, was later removed to its present site north of Wiesbaden.
In the period from 1692 to 1722, the Georgenthaler Hof was owned by the Princes of Nassau-Idstein and managed by their central administration. In the following times, various tenants managed the estate on behalf of the princely house. From the middle of the 19th century, the property passed through various hands until the destiny of the Georgenthal estate changed radically in 1995.
The destiny of Hofgut Georgenthal turns to the better
In 1995, Heinz Hankammer, founder of BRITA GmbH from Taunusstein, took over the Hofgut, thus realising his earliest childhood dreams. Furthermore the former princely
estate is closely linked to the Hankammer family’s own history. For generations, they
and their paternal ancestors had lived in the immediate vicinity of the estate. So it has
been obvious to choose the stately estate as the new ancestral home.
With the same enthusiasm with which Prince Georg August Samuel of Nassau-Idstein had once built the Hofgut, Heinz Hankammer, with his deep connection to his homeland, has been committed to the old buildings since 1995, thus reviving the once rural estate. In 2007, his children Brita and Markus Hankammer took over the Hofgut, which had been a hotel since 2000, in order to successively renovate, modernise and attract new groups of guests.
Today, the 4-star superior hideaway caters and cares for guests from near and far: golfers, gourmets, nature and wellness lovers, museum visitors (regional museum “Limes im Hofgut”), hikers, cyclists and anglers – in fact anyone who wants to enjoy the idyllic secluded location far away from everyday life.